SpaceX Dragon capsule lands safely at sea
A month after delivering an expandable prototype habitat and other goodies to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean today with tons of equipment and scientific samples.
Among the roughly 3,700 pounds of cargo are freezers containing blood, saliva, urine and stool samples from astronaut Scott Kelly, who served as an experimental subject during a nearly yearlong stint on the station. Those samples will be studied to see how long-term spaceflight affected Kelly’s metabolic functions, including the function of the gut bacteria in his bowels.
The results could affect how NASA plans for even longer journeys to Mars and other deep-space destinations.
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